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Characterisation of RT1-E2, a multigenic family of highly conserved rat non-classical MHC class I molecules initially identified in cells from immunoprivileged sites

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BioMed Central
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PMC
Keywords
  • Research Article
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

1471-2172-4-7.fm ral ss BioMed CentBMC Immunology Open AcceResearch article Characterisation of RT1-E2, a multigenic family of highly conserved rat non-classical MHC class I molecules initially identified in cells from immunoprivileged sites Pierre Lau1, Claire Amadou1, Hélène Brun1, Virginie Rouillon1, Fiona McLaren2, Anne-France Le Rolle2, Margaret Graham2, Geoffrey W Butcher2 and Etienne Joly*1,2 Address: 1IFR Claude de Préval, INSERM U563, CHU Purpan, 31300 Toulouse, France and 2The Functional Immunogenetics Laboratory, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge CB2 4AT, UK Email: Pierre Lau - [email protected]; Claire Amadou - [email protected]; Hélène Brun - [email protected]; Virginie Rouillon - [email protected]; Fiona McLaren - [email protected]; Anne-France Le Rolle - [email protected]; Margaret Graham - [email protected]; Geoffrey W Butcher - [email protected]; Etienne Joly* - [email protected] * Corresponding author Abstract Background: So-called "immunoprivileged sites" are tissues or organs where slow allograft rejection correlates with low levels of expression of MHC class I molecules. Whilst classical class I molecules are recognised by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), some MHC class I molecules are called "non-classical" because they exhibit low polymorphism and are not widely expressed. These last years, several studies have shown that these can play different, more specialised roles than their classical counterparts. In the course of efforts to characterise MHC class I expression in rat cells obtained from immunoprivileged sites such as the central nervous system or the placenta, a new family of non-classical MHC class I molecules, which we have named RT1-E2, has been uncovered. Results: Members of the RT1-E2 family are all highly homologous to one another, and the number of RT1-E2 loci varies from one to four per MHC haplotype among the six rat strains studied so far, with some loci predicted to give rise to soluble molecules. The

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